EU says using Russian roubles payment scheme would breach sanctions

FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, dressed in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, attends the EU commission weekly college meeting, in Brussels, Belgium, March 16, 2022. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Using Moscow’s proposed scheme for foreign companies to pay for gas by enabling Russia to convert their payments into roubles would breach European Union sanctions, the bloc’s energy policy chief said on Monday.

“Paying rubles through the conversion mechanism managed by the Russian public authorities and a second dedicated account in Gazprombank is a violation of the sanctions and cannot be accepted,” EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson told a news conference after a meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels.

Reporting by Kate Abnett